1st Edition

Motherhood in Contemporary International Perspective Continuity and Change

Edited By Fabienne Portier-Le Cocq Copyright 2020
    242 Pages
    by Routledge

    242 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Divided into 15 chapters, this book provides the reader with an insight into certain representations of mothers and motherhood in history and today’s societies in some areas of the world, notably in Britain and Asia.

    Key facts about the history of motherhood are presented, together with the use of very recent notions and phrases portraying ‘good’ and ‘bad’ mothers. An analysis of the concepts of naming and blaming, along with regret with respect to mothers in 21st century societies, provides food for thought. Other issues addressed are varied and numerous: the politics of early intervention, feminist critique, mothers with disabilities and mothers of disabled children, incarcerated mothers, surrogate mothers, teenage mothers, lesbian mothers, and mothering in Eastern Asia, namely in China, Japan, and Korea. Interestingly, both visual arts and literature play a crucial role in this analysis.

    The publication will appeal to students, academics, researchers, and the general public interested in and seeking to comprehend the shifts that have occurred over time in connection with the vast and inexhaustible subject of motherhood and mothers – a private and public matter. Readers are also provided with a rich reference section dealing with the latest publications on the issues tackled by prominent academics and researchers in human geography, women’s studies, sociology, gender studies, contemporary history, and the arts.

    1. Theorising Motherhood;  2. (M)othering and the Politics of Early Intervention: Biologisation and the Reproduction of Gendered, Classed and Raced Inequalities;  3. A Mother’s Place is in the Home: Deconstructing Self-Interest and Altruism in Feminist Economics;  Part 1 Difficult Times for Mothers;  4. Mother Figures Behind Bars: Pregnant Women and Mothers in Prison in England and Wales;  5. Martyr, Miscreant, or A Modern Mama? Exploring the Archetypal and Realistic Images of Mothers of Children with Disabilities;  6. South Asian Mothering in White Spaces; Part 2 Unorthodox Mothers;  7. Motherhood and Mothering in Contemporary ‘‘IP Memoirs’’;  8. Teenage Mothers in England; Resisting or Silenced by the Regulatory Framework?; Part 3 Asian Mothering/Mothers;  9. Motherhood Experiences of East Asian Women in Britain;  10. Chinese Motherhood in the UK; Part 4 Lesbian Mothers/Mothering;  11. Lesbian Mothers and Citizens: The Morality Test at the United States Supreme Court;  12. Lesbian Motherhood: From the Social Recognition of Female Homosexuality to the ‘Lesby-boom’: A Comparison Between Britain and France;  Part 5 Representations of Mothers in Art;  13. Maternal Fantasies in an Era of Crisis – Single Mothers, Self-Sacrifice, and Sexuality in Japanese Television Drama;  14. Countering Allegorical Motherhood in Irish and Northern Irish Contemporary Art: The Female Body as a Tool for Resistance;  15. Female ‘‘Transformational Energy’’ in Louise Erdrich's Works.


    Fabienne Portier-Le Cocq is Professor of Contemporary British Studies at the University of Tours in France, and has done comparative research for the European Commission on families. Her research interests also span young, lone parenthood, domestic violence in Britain and France, in addition to qualitative studies. Her latest publication (2017) is Fertility, Health and Lone Parenting: European Contexts, Routledge.